Eupen Nov. 29, 1989 -> Belgium flap -> Homeclick!

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The Belgium flap:

On November 29, 1989, in the Eupen region:

Between 06:30 p.m. and 07:00 p.m. in La Calamine - Kelmis, Mr. Maschlenka:

SOBEPS gives this information:

The witness is Mr. M., resident of Kelmis, in French: La Calamine.

Between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on November 29, 1989, while he was busy unloading his van, he looked up to the sky by chance and discovered at his vertical a dark, round, mass, adorned with four white lights forming a square. The diameter of the lights is quite large compared to the dimension of the object.

In the center, there is a red light of a diameter slightly larger than the white lights diameter.

The craft seemed to come from Holland and head towards Eupen, but very slowly, "not faster than me walking."

He first thought it was an AWACS aircraft, because of the size, but the appearance was very different, they no not fly as low and as slowly as that, and most importantly, they make a lot of noise while this craft was silent.

SOBEPS published a sketch of that object, looking like the sketch below. I added the red color of the light in the center. Except for the background, the red and the white, the color of the object is hypothetical.


In their second book, SOBEPS gives this information:

On November 29, 1989 between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., a witness saw a round, dark mass, adorned with four large white lights about 50 cm to 1 m in diameter. These lights are directed towards the ground, but they do not illuminate it.

In the center of the square formed by the lights, there is a distinct red light of equivalent diameter.

The witness was surprised by the absolute silence and the incredibly slow speed of the craft. "It did not go faster than me walking"


Another report, in the Flying Saucer Review, indicated for this observation:

At about 1900 hrs., several residents of La Calamine, a little further to the north, saw a curious object moving in total silence, and very slowly, on a N-S course, and Monsieur Maschlenka has described it as a round, dark, mass, with four big white lights directed downwards towards the ground.

The magazine published this sketch right below this report:


There is a summary for this observation, published on the web by the Belgian ufologist Godelieve Van Overmeire in her catalog circa 1999, now gone, but much copied by UFO websites and forums. This summary is as follows:

1989, November 29

BELGIUM, Kelmis (La Calamine)

The witness is busy unloading his truck between 06:30 and 7 p.m. hours. Looking to the sky by chance he discovers at his vertical a round and dark mass. It is adorned with four large white lights forming a square. The diameter of the lights is quite large relative to the size of the object and in the center there is a red light having an even slightly larger diameter. This object seems to come from Holland and head to Eupen, but it moves very slowly "not faster than me walking," the witness said.

Source example:

Luminosity of the sky during this sighting:

06:40 p.m.
06:50 p.m.
07:00 p.m.
07:10 p.m.


Kelmis is the German name for the village whose French name is La Calamine.

Holland is in the North, Eupen at the South, so, the flight direction as indicated by the witness in North to South.

Below: localization of Kelmis (red dot) relative to Eupen and Verviers.


I looked for the "UFO-skeptic" explanations for this case. There is none. As with most other reports of that night, it is not cited and not commented.

In particular, in the 2005 "study" by French skeptic Renaud Leclet who proposed many or most of the sightings were caused by various sorts of helicopters, there is no mention of this sighting.

Maybe this sighting was discarded from the skeptical UFO literature because it does not fit enough a helicopter, Venus, a plane, a balloon, or any of the other things "UFO-skeptics" propose to "explain the Belgium UFO flap."

The report is relatively meager, it lacks essential data such as the angular size of the round form. It is thus difficult to claim a sure explanation.

However, we have to note here another person puzzled by a flying object, a sighting to read about in connection with the numerous other sighting reports then and there.

Notes about the AWACS plane:

The AWACS plane is actually a quite ordinary Boeing 707, renamed E-3A by the military, "AWACS" standing for "Airborne Warning and Control System". They equipped it with a radom, a circular enclosure for a radar set, at the top of its fuselage:

Several witnesses of the objects flying that night, and of other observations in Belgium, initially thought what they saw might be an AWACS, they rejected it after getting a better view or finding characteristic impossible for an AWACS, such as silence or slowness or shape. Others reported the passage of an AWACS, recognizing it as such.

The AWACS was nevertheless one of the first "explanation" advanced in haste by the press, the TV, as an explanation for events or certain events of the Belgium flap. Occasionally it was claimed that the saucer-shape of the radom was the UFO, imagining that witnesses necessarily described classic "flying saucers" - this was unusual then - and not considering how they could see the radom without seeing the plane that carries it (NATO AWACS were painted in white, the radom was black with a central white stripe).

The reason some witnesses on this evening initially thought "AWACS", is simply that NATO AWACS were regularly seen there. NATO headquarters are in Belgium.

Most "UFO-skeptics" writing on the Belgium UFO flap did not cite the AWACS as explanation. They first favored the F-117 stealth aircraft, then the so-called LoFlyte secret aircraft, and later, self-built balloons one Kuzmek claimed to have built (but not flown outside), various astronomical causes such as Venus, ordinary aircraft, and helicopters.

Document history.

Version: Created/changed by: Date: Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 8, 2013 Creation.
1.0 Patrick Gross September 8, 2013 First publication.

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This page was last updated on September 8, 2013.